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LAW 122 (625)
Chapter 5

Law 122 - Chapter 5 - My Notes.docx

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Department
Law and Business
Course
LAW 122
Professor
Theresa Miedema
Semester
Fall

Description
Chapter 5 Miscellaneous Torts Affecting Business Conspiracy – The tort of conspiracy usually occurs when two or more defendants agree to act together with the primary purpose of causing the plaintiff to suffer a financial loss Intimidation – The tort of intimidation occurs when the plaintiff suffers a loss as a result of the defendant’s threat to commit an unlawful act against either the plaintiff or a third party - Two-party intimidation – occurs when defendant directly coerces the plaintiff into suffering a loss - Three-party intimidation – occurs when the defendant coerces a third party into acting in a way that hurts the plaintiff o Rules  The plaintiff must prove that the defendant threatened to commit an unlawful act (crime, tort, breach of contract)  The tort does not occur unless the threatened party gives in to the intimidation  As long as the other elements of the tort are established, there is no need to prove that the defendant intended to hurt the plaintiff Interference with Contractual Relations Interference with Contractual – The tort of interference with contractual relations occurs when the defendant disrupts a contract that exist between the plaintiff and a third party o Direct inducement to breach of contract o Indirect inducement to breach of contract Direct inducement to breach of contract – occurs when the defendant directly persuades a third party to break its contract with the plaintiff. o Liability requires four factors  The defendant must know about the contract that exists between the third part and the plaintiff  The defendant must intend to cause the third party to breach that contract.  The defendant must actually cause the third party to break its contract with the plaintiff  The plaintiff must suffer a loss as a result of the defendant’s conduct Indirect inducement to breach of contract – occurs when the defendant indirectly persuades a third party to break its contract with the plaintiff o The same four factors of the Direct inducement to breach of contract, must be met plus proof Unlawful Interference with Economic Relations Unlawful Interference with Economic Relations – may occur if the defendant commits an unlawful act for the purpose of causing the plaintiff to suffer an economic loss Name of Tort Unlawfulness Intent to Harm Conspiracy Defendant’s act may be lawful Lawful act – hurting plaintiff must be defendant’s primary purpose or unlawful Unlawful act – hurting plaintiff must be foreseeable Intimidation Defendant must threaten Defendant’s act must be directed at plaintiff –but hurting plaintiff unlawful act needs not to be the defendant’s primary purpose Interference Indirect inducement to breach Defendant’s act must be directed at plaintiff-but hurting plaintiff with of contract-defendants’ act need not be defendant’s primary purpose Contractual must be unlawful Relations Direct inducement to breach of contract-defendant’s act may be lawful or unlawful Interference Defendant’s act must be Defendant’s act must be directed at plaintiff but hurting plaintiff with Economic unlawful or unauthorized need not be defendant’s primary purpose Relations 1 | P a g e Deceit Deceit – The tort of deceit occurs if the defendant makes a false statement, which it knows to be untrue, with which it intends to mislead the plaintiff, and which causes the plaintiff to suffer a loss There are four parts to this definition  First, the defendant must make a false statement. The requirement is easily met if the defendant says or writes something that is positively untrue. o The defendant may be held liable for a half-truth o The defendant may be held liable for failing to update information o The general rule in the commercial world is caveat emptor: “let the buyer beware.”The buyer is responsible for asking question and making an investigation. This is unless it is dangerous or unfit  Second, the defendant must know, at the time of making a statement, that it is false  Third, the defendant must make the statement with the intention of misleading the plaintiff  Fourth, the plaintiff must suffer a loss as a result of reasonable relying upon the defendant’s statement. o The defendant’s statement normally has to refer to a past or present fact. Liability is unusually not possible if the defendant offered an opinion or predicted the future Deceit is a tort and not a contract, making it backwards thinking – the plaintiff is entitled to be put into the position that it would have enjoyed if the defendant had not lied. Occupiers’ Liability Occupiers’ Liability – The tort of occupiers’ liability requires an occupier of premises to protect visitors from harm  An occupier is any person who has substantial control over premises  A visitor is any person who enters onto premises  Premises includes more than land (land, apartments, offices, elevators, vehicles, sips, trains and airplanes) Type of Visitor Description of Visitor Occupier’s Obligation Trespasser A person who does not have permission to enter Not to intentionally or recklessly injure a trespasser the premises (eg. A burglar) (eg. By setting a trap for a burglar) Licensee A person who has permission to enter the To protect a licensee from hidden dangers that premises, but who does not further that were actually known to the occupier occupier’s economic interest (eg. A social guest) Invitee A person who has permission to enter the To take reasonable care to protect an invitee from premise who furthers the occupier’s economic unusual dangers that the occupier knew or should interests (eg. A business customer) have known about Contractual A person who enters into a contract to use the A contractual obligation to make sure that the Entrant premises, rather than to receive services that premises were as safe as reasonable possible are offered on the premises (eg. A hotel guest) Nuisance Nuisance –The tort of nuisance occurs when the defendant unreasonably interferes with the plaintiff’s use and enjoyment of its own land  A nuisance occurs if the defendant interferes with the plaintiff’s use of its land. Interference can happen in a variety of ways. Simple cases involve physical damages o The defendant factory may emit chemical particles that drift with the wind and destroy the paint on the plaintiff’s building  A nuisance can also occur if the defendant creates a small or a sound that impairs the enjoyment of the plaintiff’s property o The defendant may operate a pig farm that causes a stench to waft over the plaintiff outdoor café.  It may be possible to commit a non-intrusive nuisance, without causing anything to travel onto the plaintiff’s property o The defendant may operate a brothel that brings traffic and criminals close to the plaintiff’s home  You can’t claim that it ruins the view or you don’t like the building’s colour  The courts look at the nature of the neighborhood (farm), time and day of interference, intensity and duration of the interference and social utility (screeching tires from ambulance) Statutory Authority – means that the defendant caused a nuisance while acting under legislation 2 | P a g e The Rule in Rylands v Fletcher Rylands v Fletcher – the rule in Rylands v Fletcher states that the defendant can be held strictly liable for a non-natural use of land if something escapes from its property and injures the plaintiff. - Three aspects need to be fulfilled o First the defendant must have made a non-natural use of its land  Some courts state that it refers to any use of land that creates a special danger  The defendant must create a special and unusual danger o Second, something associated with a non-natural use must escape from defendant’s land and cause the plaintiff to suffer a loss  For instance, what may break through a reservoir and flood a neighbors’ house o The rule in Ryland v Fletcher is strict. The defendant may be held liable even though it acted as carefully as possible. Strict liability does not, however, mean that liability is imposed every time there is a non-natural use, an escape and an injury. o A defense may be available in exceptional circumstances  The plaintiff may have consented to the defendant’s non-natural use of the land  The escape may have been caused by a third party or a natural force that the defendant could not have guarded against  The plaintiff in
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